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donnacha costello
together is the new alone
mille plateaux   2002
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mille plateux website
donnacha costello website

album rating: 3

submitted by anton on 10-Jul-2002

donnacha costello together is the new alone is one of those albums that came out of nowhere, not quite fitting the profile of the label, and stayed in my cd player for days. I kept listening to it, at first a bit reluctantly, and then almost obsessively. the release is incredibly minimal with long cold synths present on each track, stretched out all the way from beginning to an end. they reminded me of troum or even ambient side of casino vs. japan, but colder, more minimal. next, there are tiny little whirrs and fuzzy short clicks, incredibly minimal, sparse to the point when you have to pay so much constant attention to notice them. the moment you actually start listening, and looking/expecting those small elements, is when this album gets to you - somehow this incredibly minimal combination slowly draws you in, until you listen so closely, waiting for each little skip and click, appearing as a ripple on the smooth surface of the strings. it took me a bit of twiddling with the equalizer to make it sound right, but it was all worth it.

it is strange how incredibly clean this album is, and how unusual. it is not derived from minimal detroit techno like some material on mille plateaux or force inc, nor it is a broken arrhythmic offspring of idm; one can hardly trace any influences, it is so unlike anything else I have heard. usually I can disassemble the sound, and piece it together, based on familiar references, in this case it is so minimal and so together, that I either forget to do that, carried away by the music, or simply fail to find anything resembling it.

the music is very precise and cold, without the usual emotional touch I am after, but at the same time there is a strange warm feel to its sound, contrasted and complemented with the more angular, more structuring influence of the glitch style. I am at a loss on how to actually label this music, or properly describe it, but it is definitely something new and very well worth mentioning.

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